The only team in Manchester is Man City Manuel Pellegrini said as his team continued to excite, entertain and dominate teams in the English Premier League. On Tuesday night, Manchester United, the reigning English Premier League champions, will be out to prove they remain the top dogs in Manchester, even if the results this season might suggest a change of guard.
City, with plenty of games in hand, need the three points to keep pace with the leaders in the English Premier League title race, while United need the victory to prove a point and build towards next season.
At the moment 12 points separate the two Manchester rivals, with City having played two games less. However, United manager David Moyes, riding on a not-so-often-this-season wave of optimism following two victories, believes the gap is not as wide as it might seem.
"We're not as far away as many people would have us and I've no doubt it'll improve," Moyes said. "We want to show we're still in there fighting.
"We want to perform better in the bigger games than we have done, I have no doubt about that. But we don't go into it any differently -- we want to win them all. It'll be important to show the level of what we've got and I think we have got the level.
"We'll do everything we possibly can. We go out to win every game -- not just the derby. It's no different. Obviously it means a lot more to the supporters and the city to win a derby game, but we go into every game with the same intention to win.
"In the last couple of games, a lot of the players have stepped up to the plate and performed. But I'm not surprised by that at all -- that's what they're capable of and I've been saying that all year. We have a good squad with good players -- we maybe haven't played as well as we should have, but I think we have those capabilities within the squad."
Only after the final whistle at Old Trafford on Tuesday night will we know if what Moyes thinks is really reality. While City are not as formidable as they were at the start of the season, when they brushed aside United at the Etihad, they are still the favourites for the title.
City, having won the Capital One Cup, and being knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League, now only have the Premier League to worry about, and ensuring they make full use of those extra games in hand will be the primary objective.
"It's very important to be a consistent team from now to the end of the season, starting against United," Pellegrini said. "We also expect to go and win there, but not just because United have had a difficult season. If we play a good game, of course we have the chance to win it.
"The players are very motivated to try and win the title. It was a very close Premier League from the beginning of the season. We are now just focusing on the Premier League. Physically and mentally we are focused on trying to win the title."
Where to Watch Live:
English Premier League: Manchester United vs Manchester City Live TV and Streaming Information (Match starts 7.45 pm GMT, 1.15 am IST, 3.45 pm ET):
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|US||NBC Sports Network|
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports, BBC Radio 5 Live|
|Middle East||Bein Sports Arabia|
|Country||Live Streaming online information|
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Team news: Manchester United: Moyes was forced to play Michael Carrick at centre-half due to injuries, and the manager might consider partnering the midfielder with Phil Jones yet against after the duo helped in keeping a clean sheet against West Ham on Saturday.
Nemanja Vidic is still suspended, but Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand could all return.
Robin Van Persie remains sidelined, meaning Wayne Rooney is again likely to be used as the primary striker with Juan Mata in the hole behind him. Antonio Valencia is doubtful with an eye injury.
Manchester City: Sergio Aguero is still at least a week away from a return, but fellow strikers Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic are expected to return to the squad. Skipper Vincent Kompany returns from suspension, but defensive partner Matija Nastasic is ruled out.
Key men: Manchester United: Rooney scored a wonder goal against the Hammers at the weekend and the onus will again be on the striker to score the goals. Mata seemed to enjoy himself a lot more in his favourite position and the former Chelsea man will look to pull the strings for United.
Manchester City: Yaya Toure scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 thumping of Fulham at the weekend, and the midfielder has the penchant for coming up with big goals.
Expected lineups: Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra; Fellaini, Carrick; Young, Mata, Kagawa; Rooney.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; Nasri, Dzeko, Silva; Negredo.